Three days in Houston gives you enough time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, tour the facilities at NASA, treat your tastebuds to the city’s renowned food scene, and still have time for a day trip to Galveston Island. Here are some ideas for how to maximize your time during a 3-day trip to H-Town.
Day 1: Houston Essentials & Outer Space
Your first day in Houston is all about icons—iconic attractions, foods, and experiences. Start with a guided tour, which might include landmarks such as Minute Maid Park (home of the Houston Astros), Market Square, Hermann Park, the Museum District, Buffalo Bayou, and Downtown. Join a private or small-group tour to learn more about what you’re seeing from a local guide, or take advantage of the double-decker hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus to travel at your own pace. In the afternoon, head south to Space Center Houston, made famous by Apollo 13’s line “Houston, we have a problem.” Tours of the facility let visitors look in on Mission Control and see a real Saturn V rocket, among other space memorabilia. Wrap up your first day by tucking into a famous Houston food, whether it be barbecue, Tex-Mex, or Viet-Cajun seafood.
Day 2: History & Culture
Houston is rich in history and heritage, so set aside a day to explore the culture of the city. One great place to start is the Houston Museum District, a collection of 19 museums in a compact area. Book your admission tickets ahead of time and skip the line at the Museum of Fine Arts, Children’s Museum of Houston, or the Houston Museum of Natural Science. You could easily spend an entire day (or more) in the area, but if you need a break, spend the afternoon touring Houston’s hidden network of underground tunnels or visiting the historic San Jacinto Monument and Battleship Texas. Each Houston neighborhood has its own unique vibe; explore one of them—choose from downtown, the Heights, Montrose, or Sugar Land—during an evening food tour.
Day 3: Galveston
Now that you’ve explored the best Houston has to offer, take your last day to enjoy a leisurely day trip to Galveston Island. A day spent in this historic city on the Texas Gulf shore might involve touring Victorian homes, browsing shops in the Strand District, soaking up sun on the beach, or cruising the Gulf of Mexico in search of dolphins. Dine on fresh Gulf shrimp with dinner at a Galveston restaurant, or head back to Houston for a night out downtown or a meal at one of the many international restaurants in neighborhoods such as Westheimer, Bellaire, or Hillcroft.